Holden Helps Bolton to a 1-1 Draw with Aston Villa

Stuart Holden (10) of the United States (USA) prepares to take a corner kick. The United States (USA) defeated Panama (PAN) 2-1 during a quarterfinal match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA, on July 18, 2009. Photo via Newscom

Bolton Wanderers, visiting favored Aston Villa, managed to once again come from behind to salvage a point. Down early due to an Ashley Young free kick (13th), Bolton picked up an equalizer in the 35th (Kevin Davies) and – save for a few excellent saves from Villa keeper Brad Friedel – would have picked up the win during a late flurry of offensive activity.

Friedel wasn’t the only American to have an impact on the match. Stuart Holden, starting as part of a central midfield duo in Bolton’s 4-4-2, was directly involved on his squad’s goal. After intercepting a pass just inside his own half, Holden tapped back to fullback Gretar Steinsson, and when Steinsson’s return pass was a bit heavy, Holden hustled to beat a defender to the ball. He then combined with Chung Yong Lee and found himself in possession on the edge of the box. Holden’s subsequent cross landed at the feet of Martin Petrov, who teed up Davies for the goal.

Despite Holden’s impact on this sequence, he was otherwise uninvolved in build-up play in the final third of the pitch, as can be seen in the diagram below. The top figure shows Holden’s successful and unsuccessful passes, while the bottom figure shows the goal sequence (click the ‘Show Numbers’ button for clarity). Notice how there is more red than blue high up the pitch.

by Guardian Chalkboards

Though Holden only made one successful pass in the final third, he did run into space when teammates were in possession, creating three shots for himself. Had Friedel not denied his 70th minute effort, Bolton would have earned the full three points and Holden would have scored his first Premier League goal.

Gringos, if you’re free this afternoon, try to catch the replay on Fox Soccer Channel (6 PM EST) and then let us know what you thought of his performance.

One Comments Post a Comment
  1. Bradley's Receding Hairline says:

    That’s certainly an interesting trend. I just wish the chalkboard could show us who he intended to pass to.

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